Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ten Things About Grizzlies/Hawks

Posted By on Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 7:32 AM

The Grizzlies lost a preseason game to the Atlanta Hawks last night, 100-88. I don’t put much stock (or any, really) in preseason wins and losses, but that doesn’t mean preseason games are totally meaningless. Here are ten things we can take away from last night’s game.

click to enlarge LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Chandler Parsons as a small lineup power forward is a thing. As Peter Edmiston pointed out on Twitter, that’s actually the only spot he’s seen any minutes this preseason. And while it’s not really ideal for your $94M playmaker to be a backup 4, that spot is actually an OK fit for his size and speed at the moment. Zach Lowe has said it, others have said it, and it’s happened in the games.
  • Starting Andrew Harrison next to Conley is not great. That’s what happened last night, presumably because Harrison is in the running to get cut before the season starts and Fizdale wanted to give him heavy minutes. Harrison is better than Wade Baldwin but not better than Wayne Selden. He’s not bad, but might not ever be much better than he is now. Cutting him would not be because he can’t be an NBA player—there’s no shame in being a decent end of the rotation guy. But somebody’s got to go. He plays well next to Conley, but I don’t think Harrison showed anything he hasn’t already. I’m glad that’s not my decision to make.
  • Marc Gasol is still the best. Marc Gasol cares about preseason games about as much as I care about renewing my driver’s license, but he still had a couple trademark Cheeky Marc passes last night. Those are fun and I missed them.
  • Tyreke Evans is a unique addition to this team. Evans is a unique player in general, but the Grizzlies have never had this kind of “super 6th man” on the wing (it was supposed to be Vince Carter, and maybe it was for parts of last year, but not like this). I’m really interested in seeing him develop chemistry with Conley, Gasol, Chalmers, et al.
  • Deyonta Davis doesn’t look great. I thought it would be obvious that he’s made progress. It isn’t.
  • Brandan Wright is still an odd fit with this roster. Year Three of the Wright experiment and it still seems hard for the Grizzlies to figure out who to play him with. He’s a good player, and very skilled, but he’s so different from the rest of the Grizzlies’ bigs that it’s always going to be a little weird. That said, if he can stay healthy this season (I say that phrase a lot these days) he brings a versatility that would be hard to replicate with any other center.
  • James Ennis is pretty good. He struggled to find a spot in the rotation last year, and the year before Dave Joerger cut him for one of Ryan Hollins’ many stints with the team, but with Tony Allen gone there should be a place for his two-way play.
  • Rade Zagorac is a long way off. He still needs a lot of time to adjust to the NBA game, and to get his conditioning right. He’s never going to be a speed demon, but he’s just not there yet. I still believe in his potential, but at this point it’s still very much potential.
  • Wade Baldwin isn’t as bad as he was last year. I don’t have anything else to say about that.
  • If a lot of the games the Grizzlies play are like the one last night, it’s going to be a long year. The offense just wasn’t happening, the defense struggled a little (but, as ever, not as much as the offense) and everything was disjointed and ugly. Granted, this is a description of the last seven seasons of playoff appearances, too, but that doesn’t mean it’s fun to watch. Preseason is preseason, so I’m hesitant to make any judgement about anything beyond that fact, but last night’s game was the bad kind of “in the mud,” the “mud is coming out of my faucets” kind. One hopes for the team to play with more pace and fluidity as the season rounds into form. We’ll see.

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